I’ve drifted off in thought and considered what my life over the last ten years would be like without Stuart Murdoch, and it was pretty grim.
That would mean that first off, I’d never have heard his band Belle and Sebastian, a group I have been obsessed with since my first listening to (what I consider to be their best album) Tigermilk so many moons ago. It also means I might never have worked with reckless abandon, in those dark ages before easy-to-trade mp3’s, to hear more of some of the bands who influenced Murdoch and his brilliant songwriting: Lloyd Cole, Aztec Camera, and Murdoch’s personal favorite, Felt. For a little while, if there was the remotest connection to Belle and Sebastian, I would want to hear it. And while over a decade of standing beside the band even through a few albums I wasn’t that into, the almost inevitable solo project of Murdoch–who I consider one of the best songwriters of the last thirty years–has finally become a reality in the form of an album and a series of short videos that accompany them (or is it the other way around?) called God Help the Girl. And in no way, shape, or form does this sound anything like a B&S album. If I must cite a comparison, I’d link this to Belle and Sebastian’s Glasgow counterparts (and the band featuring Murdoch’s former ladyfriend), Camera Obscura doing Tin Pan Alley pop songs.
Watch the first video in the series (below) for the song “Come Monday Night” (complete with a George Best poster in the background of course), and go to the official Youtube channel to watch the rest.